Chilean cinema the star of Valdivia International Film Festival

The Festival’s 19th edition attracts a stellar international showing, but Chile’s presence stands out in the capital of the Rivers Region, Northern Patagonia. 

Now in its 19th edition, the status of the Valdivia International Film Festival (FICV) on the international cinema circuit continues to gain momentum – and it’s hardly surprising, given the world wide acclaim that Chilean films have won over the last few years.
Some of those celebrated films are being screened in Valdivia for this year’s festival, but FICV 2012 also features a range of Chilean film world premieres. A few are already being touted as the next batch of international award-winners, others the experimental beginnings of an even younger set of filmmakers who could be the stars of years to come.
All this means that despite a more prestigious international presence than ever – including a retrospective of Uruguayan director Pablo Stoll, who recently set Cannes abuzz with his latest production 3 as well as one for acclaimed French short film maker Jean Gabriel Periot – Chile’s presence is standing out in the capital of the Rivers Region.
So as we head towards the halfway point of the festival (which runs until Sunday), we bring you the best of Chilean cinema that’s been screened so far – and what’s still to come.
The competitors:
Two Chilean films are among the 12 competing for the International Film Award, and both enter with high expectations.
De Jueves a Domingo (From Thursday to Sunday) will have its Chilean premiere tonight at 9 p.m. in the Aula Magna auditorium of the Universidad Austral de Chile, following an award winning tour of Europe. The debut feature for director Dominga Sotomayor, De Jueves a Domingo is the story of a young couple’s breaking apart during a four-day family road trip through northern Chile. It will screen again on Friday at 7 p.m. at the Cineplanet theater.
Carne de Perro will also have its Chilean premiere and it too is a breakthrough for a young Chilean director, as Fernando Guzzoni’s fiction debut. Guzzoni’s documentary La Colorina premiered at Cannes, earning him the chance to work in residence at the prestigious festival to develop Carne de Perro, a gritty film of a former torturer, struggling to reinterpret his life.
It will screen at 9 p.m. on Friday at Aula Magna and 7:15 p.m. on Saturday at Cineplanet.
Homage to a master:
This year FICV pays tribute to the late Raúl Ruiz, considered one of the great auteurs of modern cinema. For anyone interested in Chilean films, or art house cinema, this director is a must-see. You can find out more about Ruiz here.
The homage begins with Ruiz’s last film, La Noche de Enfrente at 11 p.m. Friday night at the Aula Magna, before screening two of his breakthrough works Tres Tristes Tigres at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Cineplanet, and Nadie Dijo Nada on Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Cine Club.
The next big things:
Perhaps the biggest buzz of any film at FICV has been reserved for Miguel San Miguel, which opened the festival with its world premiere. Based on the formative years of the members of the band Los Prisioneros, the film shows their struggle to overcome poverty and political repression to become one of Chile’s greatest rock bands.
Miguel San Miguel will screen again at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Aula Magna.
While it’s too early to call which film will emerge victorious from the competitive Chilean Film contest at FICV, several films are already generating buzz and worth keeping on eye on.
Aquí Estoy, Aquí No, is one of those films, the second feature of young director Elisa Eliash, which tells the story of an overweight and depressed journalist hired to write the unauthorized biography of a fictitious legend of Chilean rock, Ana Patricia Ahumada Jones.
It will screen on Friday at 6:45 p.m. and at midday on Saturday, both times at Aula Magna.
The acclaimed:
Several recently acclaimed Chilean films will accompany the competitors at FICV, including the Best International Screenwriting Award winner at Sundance, Joven y Alocada (“Young and Wild”), which screens today at 2:45 p.m. at Cineplanet.
Meanwhile an open air screening of Chile’s Oscar nominee, No, is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. this Saturday, while popular Chilean schlock western, Sal, was a crowd pleaser yesterday.